AVOW - A Global App Growth Startup Helping in Advertising Across App Stores

Preeti Karna Preeti Karna
May 28, 2022 14 min read
AVOW - A Global App Growth Startup Helping in Advertising Across App Stores

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by AVOW.

The global market of mobile app development is growing at a CAGR of 11% and is expected to reach over $365 billion. As the app development market is growing rigorously, so is the need to market these apps. OEM (Original Equipment Manufactures) has a high influence in marketing mobile apps. Gaining the trust of the mobile app developers so that they can choose them as the primary platform for app distributors is the main goal of OEMs. AVOW is a startup that is a specialist in Mobile OEM on-device user acquisition and advertising across alternative app stores.

Read the startup story of AVOW, founders and Team, Growth, partnerships, and more about it.

AVOW - Company Highlights

Startup Name AVOW
Headquarters Berlin
Industry Technology
Founder Robert Wildner, Ashwin Shekhar, Orietta Mendez and Caio Balbino
Founded 2018
Website avow.tech

AVOW - About
AVOW - Vision
AVOW - Core Belief
AVOW - Founders and Team
AVOW - The Idea and Startup Story
AVOW - Name, Tagline, and Logo
AVOW - Growth
AVOW - Marketing Strategy
AVOW - Customer Acquisition
AVOW - Customer Retention Strategy
AVOW - Challenges Faced
AVOW - Partnership
AVOW - Client Communication
AVOW - Recognition and Achievements

AVOW - About

AVOW is a global app growth company, specializing in alternative app store inventory. They provide brands with a unique opportunity to access untapped mobile advertising inventory via Mobile OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers- Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Samsung, Realme) at scale and invest their advertising spend across alternative channels for incremental user growth and engagement.

AVOW - Vision

Their goal is to make as many app developers aware of the great opportunity that lies in working with Mobile OEMs and their untapped user inventory. To achieve their goals, they plan to continue educating mobile marketers and app developers about the benefits of Mobile OEMs being integrated into their mobile marketing mix. In terms of business and hiring plans, they have recently opened an office in Brazil (in Q2) and continue to launch their services in new regions and broaden their teams of experts to cater to the high demand for their services. For their continuous growth, it is imperative that they keep strengthening their relationship with media partners.

Acquiring high-value users for mobile apps is a primary goal for app developers in 2022 regardless of vertical or region, but the app market is developing at a rapid pace with more competition than ever before: An average of 1,153 new apps are released every day on the Apple Store and 3,119 new apps each day on the Google Play Store. Fortunately, there are alternatives to those platforms mobile marketers can use to help achieve their company goals and increase ROAS (Return On Advertising Spend).

While mobile marketers may find it difficult to successfully manoeuvre through the different specifications and requirements for each of the alternative app stores such as HUAWEI, Xiaomi, Oppo Vivo, OnePlus, and Samsung when setting up, this gives marketers access to numerous benefits:

  • Achieve your growth goals: Mobile OEMs enable marketers to grow on a global scale by reaching new audiences and accessing new markets.
  • Reach your acquisition targets: Mobile OEMs offer higher user acquisition whilst paying lower CPI (cost-per-install).
  • Enter a fraud-proof ecosystem: Marketers gain access to a fully fraud-free user-acquisition ecosystem. This is because there are no additional layers between the budget holder and the Mobile OEM, and reach advertising placement is fully controlled by the Smartphone OEM.
  • Build trust with your audience: Users who are brand-loyal to the Mobile OEM will view adverts as more trustworthy.
  • Diverse advertisement (ad) formats: Access a diverse range of ad formats across all Mobile OEMs from full-screen interstitials to video ads.
  • Appographic targeting: Appographic Targeting helps marketers to find the perfect user for their app based on their unique interests and promote the app to users who are most likely to install it.
  • Access dynamic preloads options: Marketers can gain a competitive edge by accessing premium, dynamic preloads options. Their app will be pre-installed on the mobile device when it is first shipped and set up by the new device holder.
  • Transparency: They operate with complete transparency of each Mobile OEM and ensure their bidding methods give advertisers a greater understanding of how each Smartphone OEM is performing overall and compared to other channels.

AVOW partners with Mobile OEMs across the globe and are expert in OEM mobile inventory. They help their clients with a consultative approach through the whole campaign cycle, from getting their app listed on the respective stores, distribution, and tracking to performance and optimization. Mobile marketers can expand their reach and unlock new revenue streams with AVOW’s Mobile OEM partnerships – which cover 42% of the global Android market. These untapped audiences cannot be accessed via social, search, or SDK networks.

AVOW - Core Belief

Beyond the tech and tools, their company is powered by people, and in that lies their philosophy of people-powered technology. As a people-first-company, they extend this value to their clients, their partners, and, just as importantly, to one another. They believe in transforming app marketing through their one-stop solution for Mobile OEM aggregation, enabling app discovery across alternative app stores, and becoming the #1 partner to unlock new markets while ensuring a higher return on advertising spend.

Their core values that help to drive AVOW forward together are:

  • To be humble always
  • Fostering a positive team and family spirit
  • Pivoting mistakes into learnings
  • Building trust through transparency
  • Embracing a proactive mindset

AVOW - Founders and Team

Robert Wildner - Founder and CEO of AVOW
Robert Wildner - Founder and CEO of AVOW

Robert Wildner is the founder and CEO of AVOW, the global app growth company. He leads the company's growth and product innovation strategies. As a mobile marketing pioneer, Robert constantly strives to discover new advertising formats and inventory sources, ensuring that app marketers can meet their targets. In his 15 years of working in the digital and mobile marketing space, he has built a great network spanning from the USA and LATAM, to SEA and China, and therefore has a deep understanding of local markets and their specific market needs. Robert has worked with global brands - from Fortune 500 companies to Mobile Champions including some major brands such as Tokopedia, Letgo, Scopely, Shopee, Uber and Hasbro and has formed partnerships with global Mobile OEMs such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, realme and Samsung. Robert holds an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance and has lived and worked in both the UK and Germany.

Ashwin Shekhar - Co-Founder and CRO at AVOW
Ashwin Shekhar - Co-Founder and CRO at AVOW

Ashwin Shekhar is the Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at AVOW. Currently, he is at the helm of affairs to expand AVOW's presence across geographies by building global business teams in the ad tech and marketing tech arena. Ashwin also consults  Mobile App-focused Startups on GTM Strategies, Growth, Retention and Monetization.

Using his deep knowledge and exposure in the digital and mobile advertising space, Ashwin has been at the forefront of building international businesses in Europe, APAC and India markets for prestigious organizations namely Glispa Global Group, InMobi and Infosys prior to establishing AVOW. With more than 10 years of experience in the industry, he supported leading mobile champions such as Twitter, Uber, Miniclip, Indian giants like Flipkart, BYJU'S, Paytm, & SEA Advertisers like Kumu, Ajaib and Shopee who are looking for hypergrowth.

Ashwin holds an MBA as well as an Engineering degree in Computer Science.

Orietta Mendez - Managing Partner and COO at AVOW
Orietta Mendez - Managing Partner and COO at AVOW

Orietta Mendez is the Managing Partner and COO at AVOW. Orietta in her current role as the COO of the company is responsible for people and operations and plays a vital role in establishing strategic partnerships at AVOW. Her expertise in Performance Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Adtech, StartUp Industry and Internationalization are highly valuable to drive the company’s operations in different geographies namely- Germany, India, US, Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia.

She was previously the Vice President of Global Operations & Partnerships at Glispa Global Group. She has also served as COO of Crobo, a company specializing in digital marketing for games (funded by venture builder Covus Group) where she was responsible for structuring and monitoring the various business units, including Product and HR. Orietta holds an MBA in SME promotion and Training as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Business Engineering.

Caio Balbino - CCSO and Co-founder of AVOW
Caio Balbino - CCSO and Co-founder of AVOW

Caio Balbino is the Chief Customer Success Officer (CCSO) & Co-founder of AVOW. With 10+ years of experience in digital and mobile marketing both as an advertiser/agency, with a focus on performance and user acquisition for apps, Caio is currently charged with the important responsibility of managing all the accounts and customer service functions globally. Prior to co-founding AVOW, he spent over six years at Glispa Global Group where he last held the senior leadership role of VP, Global Client Services.

The current company size is 30+ employees.

AVOW - The Idea and Startup Story

The company was first established in March 2018 but the founding team has known and worked with each other for the last 12 years in various companies before launching AVOW. With the mobile industry’s ever-changing nature, they knew there were opportunities to improve the mobile ecosystem and its marketing and advertising. They wanted to efficiently help app developers and brands reach their goals and move markets. It is always important to understand your value proposition and readjust this while you are growing.

Initially, they started the company with the idea of streamlining the process of identifying and blocking mobile advertising fraud more efficiently, to help clients to save marketing budgets.

Over time they have realized that fraud detection and prevention became a commodity and did not allow them to stick out of the crowd. They were looking for something disruptive that they expected to be the next big thing. During that time Google clashed with Huawei as well as Fortnight with Google and Apple and they knew which direction they are going to take - alternative app stores.

They have figured that alternative app stores are becoming reality and the time for Google Play and Apple Store as monopolies would come to an end sooner or later.  - Alternative App stores are, as the name suggests, an alternative to the biggest App stores available in the market allowing advertisers to have an alternative channel promoting advertisements within the main Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) globally such as HUAWEI, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Samsung.

Keeping in mind that those Mobile OEMs alone cover 42% of the global Android market and the untapped audiences you find on those cannot be accessed via social, search, or SDK networks - which not only makes it unique and a must-have in any marketer’s mobile marketing mix, but also more effective and budget-friendly and yet - it comes with all the benefits that you get at Google and Apple.

Since they have been in the mobile industry for more than a decade they tested their offering with some of the closest allies and apps in the market. As the results were phenomenal, the testers were more than happy to continue growing their apps via those new marketing channels and untapped audiences. They also continued to grow its vision along those of their customers such as Byju’s, Amazon Prime, Moneytap, Navi, Upgrad and WazirX and matched them with the opportunities of Mobile OEMs.

Over the past years, they have also established very close relationships and exclusive partnerships with global mobile OEMs to offer the best possible options for their client's marketing efforts. Recently, they were awarded by Huawei for the ‘Premium Specialized Mobile OEM agency’ for the year 2022.

AVOW Logo
AVOW Logo

They chose the name AVOW because it symbolizes their commitment to their clients and the service they provide. By definition, AVOW means “to affirm or commit to something openly and bluntly”. This is at the heart of the company philosophy, a value that is represented by the fully transparent and dedicated way their team operates.

AVOW - Growth

Their greater and better access to the untapped user audience coupled with their unparalleled customer service has contributed to the steady and faster growth. Due to their official partnerships with Mobile OEM advertising platforms such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, OnePlus, Vivo, Realme, and Samsung, they offer direct access to over 1.5 billion daily active users. AVOW is expanding the mobile marketing mix for global mobile advertisers by empowering app developers, marketers, and brands to leverage Mobile OEM advertisement placements (outside of Google, Facebook, or 3rd party advertising networks) to reach previously untapped user audiences and all of that brand save, ad fraud-free and at the same time for a much better price. AVOW is tuned towards performance and helps advertisers focus on scaling on performance bypassing the learning curve which comes with individual mobile OEMs.

Moreover, they offer their clients Dynamic preloads opportunities with some of the biggest Mobile OEMs such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo which gives their customers the exclusive possibility to be featured on phones right from the get-go when new users activate the mobile device for the first time and are presented with the opportunity to download the app while the mobile setup happens.

So their competitive advantage is a combination of excellent people, strong mobile OEM relationships and gained trust over the last years and the drive to always develop and solve advertiser’s growth needs.

AVOW - Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy that worked for Avow are:

  • WOM - in the beginning, word of mouth mainly. Pretty old school - but yes, they contacted their network one by one and only via their Sales team.
  • Only after a certain period of time, they have established a marketing team that supported them with building out their website, CRM and Email marketing strategy, and of course their Social media channels.
  • They also have representatives in all its major markets - that is India, Indonesia, the USA, Vietnam, Brazil, and Germany.
  • They also partner with the major MMPs like Adjust and run educational webinars in different countries to ensure they spread the word about the benefits that Mobile OEMs can bring to the mobile marketing mix.
  • A lot of advertisers referred them to their colleagues in the industry because of their ability to tap into unique fraud-free inventory with great service levels.

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AVOW - Customer Acquisition

As already mentioned in one of the previous questions they (as individuals) have been around in the mobile phone industry for more than 10 years and hence have a vast global network of mobile marketers and app developers. They contacted a number of marketers when they first started to see if they could garner any interest and if they would be willing to run some test campaigns and budgets with them. Again, any marketer or app developer is always on the lookout to find and reach fresh new users and since Mobile OEMs have been under the radar for a long time - they discovered a great opportunity for mobile marketers to tap into a big pool of potential new users.

Of course, one thing one should not neglect - over the past years they have built out very tied relationships with those OEMs so that they can offer this premium service and solutions to their customers.

AVOW - Customer Retention Strategy

Caio (CoFounder), who is in charge of Account Management and Customer Service is very proud that their NPS (Net-Promoter-Score) is always great, which also means they see a very low churn rate.

They have 24/7 service due to the fact that they follow a straightforward glocal market strategy. Meaning that they have local people on the ground in all the major markets they globally operate in. It ensures that they are in the right time zone to support their customers as well as that they speak the language and they have a deep understanding of the local market - hence they can really help and empower their customers to get the most out of their services wherever they are based.

AVOW - Challenges Faced

As for many companies, the worldwide lockdown hit them quite hard, since they had a significant part of their business from the travel industry. They had the option of downsizing the team or focusing on new customers. They decided to put in some extra effort to find new customers in other verticals and succeeded.

AVOW - Partnership

In the past years AVOW partnered with 8 major Mobile OEMs.

  • Xiaomi
  • Oppo
  • Vivo
  • Samsung
  • Oneplus
  • Realme
  • Huawei
  • Transsion

Their clients like Amazon Prime, Unacademy, Upgrad, Byju’s, Moneytap, Avail and WazirX amongst others get access to 1.5 billion daily active users which they provide. They currently have a presence in Germany, India, Indonesia, Brazil, USA, Vietnam, and Russia.

They won HUAWEI’s prestigious “Strategic Partner Award, Europe” earlier in January 2022. AVOW was also ranked and recognized in three categories in the top 10 which included AppsFlyer’s dedicated Growth section: India, SEA and India, non-gaming finance and AF retention index finance in Power and volume: India and SEA  in AppsFlyer’s Performance Index XIII.


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AVOW - Client Communication

The landscape in which they operate is extremely dynamic in nature with trends and regulations changing at a time frame which are often unpredictable. Across the global presence, their clients are diligently supported by teams that understand their specific market- the best practices and thus offer the much-needed localized and domain-centric knowledge from a strategy and execution point of view. Their teams across all of the global offices ensure that its clients get round-the-clock support. They follow a consultative approach to handling challenges that advertisers face. They believe in being proactive and keeping their communication channels open with advertisers at all points of time.

Communication for them is an opportunity and an important aspect to keep their stakeholders- partners as well as customers updated about the developments and movements happening in the venture. At AVOW, they have adopted the following strategies to keep them in the loop-

  • Regular news updates via email and tie it back to their Social Media campaigns. They use Hubspot as their go-to tool when it comes to anything related to marketing.
  • Posting a lot of educational pieces and features on its blog. They have plenty of subscribers learning about them and the services they provide there. Check it out :)
  • They also work with multiple PR agencies in the different regions who help them to communicate with the local news/media outlets
  • For any campaign related to their customers, they have an in-house proprietary tool that they use to launch, streamline, analyze, and optimize their customers’ campaigns.
  • And of course, they are getting back to conferences (MAU, dmexco etc.) and more face-to-face dedicated meetings.

AVOW - Recognition and Achievements

Some achievements of AVOW are:

  • AVOW has been ranked twice in AppsFlyer Performance Index in its 13th and 14th editions consecutively in the top 10.
  • AVOW is an official partner of Huawei
  • They have official partnerships with all major mobile OEMs Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Realme, OnePlus.
  • AVOW won the Huawei prize

FAQs

When was AVOW founded?

AVOW was founded in 2018.

Who is the founder of AVOW?

Robert Wildner, Ashwin Shekhar, Orietta Mendez and Caio Balbino have founded AVOW.

Who are the partners of AVOW?

AVOW has partnered with 8 major Mobile OEMs.

  • Xiaomi
  • Oppo
  • Vivo
  • Samsung
  • Oneplus
  • Realme
  • Huawei
  • Transsion

What service is offered by AVOW?

AVOW specialises in Mobile OEM on-device user acquisition and advertising across alternative app stores.

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